OREANDA-NEWS. January 18, 2013. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China's top economic planner, announced Monday a new standard for water utility prices as part of its continued efforts to strengthen control over water pricing in the country.

The minimum rates for water utility services were unveiled by the NDRC in a statement on its website Monday, with cities such as Beijing and Tianjin having the highes rates - 1.6 yuan (USD 0.26) per cubic meter for surface water and 4 yuan per cubic meter for ground water.

In comparison, some 13 regions of the country - including Shanghai, Anhui and Fujian - have standard surface water rates set at 0.1 yuan per cubic meter while that for ground water stands at 0.2 yuan per cubic meter.